Max started volunteering with the charity in September 2014 joining the CHEXS Lee Valley Enrichment Project, a community project where he helped to clear overgrown areas enabling the area to be used by the public. The school asked if Max could join the project as he was having difficulties at home; there was domestic violence, he no longer had contact with his mother and was living in two rooms within a hostel with his father and two siblings. This upheaval was making him angry and although he was very keen to do well, he could easily become disheartened and despondent. Once he joined the project he would jump at the chance to attend. He would be there encouraging others to join the team and keeping their spirits high especially when the weather or task became really challenging.
By 2015 Max was a regular volunteer becoming the lynchpin of the volunteering group he was part of, making sure everyone knew that they were to attend the project. Max coordinated the group to continue volunteering with other projects and became a spokesperson for the group within the charity. Max has always been eager to find other avenues where he can support CHEXS, going the extra mile to ensure as many volunteers as possible could join him. Max has the ability to put people at ease, will always have a cheerful smile and is excellent at supporting others when the challenges become too hard for them. In recognition of his volunteering and hard work within the community, he was awarded runner-up Broxbourne Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
Max has shown improved behaviour at school and now has a more positive outlook linked to enthusiasm. He rarely has angry outbursts now and has continued with his education into the 6th form.
CHEXS has helped me because I’ve done the things I never imagined I’d complete and learned that when things go wrong I know never to give up because I’ve done the hardest challenge! The skills I have learned will help me at home as I am not afraid to do most things now. It has been a life changing experience.